R U OK? – It’s OK To Say NO

Today is once again, R U OK day in Australia. This initiative started as a movement to raise awareness and open channels to help people struggling with life. According to the RUOK website www.RUOKDAY.com:

The R U OK? Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to encouraging all people to regularly and meaningfully ask ‘are you ok?’ to support those struggling with life.

R U OK?Day is our national day of action on the second Thursday of September (12 September 2013), and dedicated to reminding people to regularly check in with family and friends. We also have Resources for You to use throughout the year to help you ask ‘are you ok?’ regularly of family, friends and colleagues.    Stephen Fry

You might remember that last year I wrote a blog post about it, and at the time, I was NOT OK. You can read all about the reasons here: R U OK 2012.

Since then I have had many struggles, up and down, and I am still working through them, but for today, I can say, “I am OK”. Who knows what tomorrow brings. My anxiety peaks and waves, comes and goes. Some days I feel like I can conquer the world, and some days I feel like I want to hide out in my room all day and not talk to anyone.

The reason I’m bringing this up is because I want to ask YOU the question: ARE YOU OK? R U OK? ARE YOU ALRIGHT? Nothing is ever black, and white. I know nothing can ever be solved with a cup of tea, but it sure can ease a burden! Let me be your tea-maker. I am HERE for you. I will listen, I will not judge, and I will not set out to solve the worlds problems. Sometimes all you want is a friend to listen and acknowledge, not judge, not try to solve the issues, or tell you where you might be going wrong. I am your friend.

Not AloneIf you don’t want to talk to me, just know that You are NOT alone. With the progress in social media and the access we all have to the internet, I have found that you are open to a world of opportunity and hope. If you have anxiety about being in public situations, you can be comfortable in your own home and reach out. If you don’t like the way you look and it makes you depressed, you can be behind a computer screen asking for advice. You don’t have to put yourself in situations that may cause you to be even more “not OK”.

So, today, at this point in time, why am I feeling OK? I think it has something to do with finally seeing a psychologist. It took me a couple of goes, and it’s not always first one is the best choice, but the one I have been seeing was not trying to read my head, or solve the worlds problems of why I am the way I am. We were simply letting it be and working with how we can work with that. It’s hard work, and it’s not all roses and sunshine, but the one thing I have learned is, FriendsEveryone needs someone to talk to. By talking about my issues with someone who was non-judgmental, my whole attitude changed. I’m no longer holding onto feelings inside myself, and no longer taking it out on my loved ones. Again, not always having great days, and yes I regress, but I know that I’m getting better. You can too. All you need to do is ask the question.

I hope you are aware that you are not alone. You will be OK. There is help available. If you go to one doctor and they say they don’t believe in ‘depression/anxiety’ then go to a different doctor. Start doing Yoga (I know it sounds naff, but it did help me!). Start exercising, even just a 15 minute walk outside in the fresh air will clear your mind and help.  If you want to send me a private message, then please do. My email is: sydneygen04@yahoo.com .

I’ve listed some resources that you can go and check out and maybe gain a little further information and maybe some help?

Take-The-First-Step

RESOURCES:

Beyond Blue

R U OK Day

Dancing with the Black Dog – A blog

and just remember:

You__ve_got_a_friend_in_me__by_pocket_full_of_posy

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Why I quit Facebook and Booze ….and other random stuff

I’m not a Quitter, I am GREAT! The Great Facebook and Booze Dry Spell of the year!

Hello, my name is SydneyGen and I haven’t had a drink in 12 days…. Wait.. wrong forum!

Actually, it’s true though!! I am still going strong in Dry July and have to say… not missing it at all too much!!  I thought it would be harder to put down the wine and vodka (mmm….vodka…….) and not have a drink, but it truly has been easier than I anything I’ve ever done realised. It’s also made me aware of the fact I think I was drinking ‘just because’ before, and that kinda takes the enjoyment away!  I’ve replaced wine with water (There’s something awfully backwards about that statement!!) and know the health benefits are rockin. So far I’ve started exercising more *slowly first, but more than before* and I’ve started watching the scales decline… (hoorah, finally.. although I had a sneaky suspicion this would occur once I stopped) I am glad my minds at a place now where I can do this. I have ‘tried’ in the past, but absolutely didn’t pass because I wasn’t strong enough to give in to temptation. The Aussie culture is definitely one laced with booze, but that’s not a bad thing (in my opinion), it’s the responsibility of booze that needs to remembered and reenforced.  I am about to go off on a tangent here, because that my dear friends, is my brain!!! Anywho… the other night I was flicking through the tv channels (which is rare in itself, I barely get time to sit down at night, let alone watch tv…whoooops, there I go again!) and I came across a show on the ABC called

Shitsville Express with Joe Hildebrand. Shitsville Express

If you haven’t heard of it, it’s this:  Each week, Joe Hildebrand rubs the noses of our four bright young things in Shitsville’s darkest and grubbiest corners, examining issues including the explosion of alcohol fuelled violence, the gambling epidemic, Australia’s substandard transport system, the current housing crisis, and the pros and cons of coal seam gas mining. And at the end of it, all four will put their ideas to a former Prime Minister who’s been to Shitsville and back many a time, and who knows the difficulty of making change happen. 

So the reason I’m bringing this up is because the episode I caught just happened to be on alcohol fueled violence. I sat in astonishment at the awful scenes of women barely wearing anything, stumbling around drunk. Men beating each other up, and blood pouring everywhere. A boy who was only 16, drunk, showing gang signs and looking for a fight. And I was sad. So, So, So, sad. What has happened with our youth? What has happened to parents instilling values, decorum? I remember being a fresh-faced 18 year old in Tassie, and stumbling through the streets of Hobart at 2-3-4am and walking between bars, but there was never violence involved. It was usually a bit of hippy love to a passer-by, a hug and a squeal to a stranger, or a friend you hadn’t seen in a while, but never violence. There were no brawls, no beatings, and certainly nobody dying from being king-hit as they walked out of bar. The issue bought up on the tv show is, “what can we do about this”, and I seriously don’t have the answer. My mother taught me to drink responsibly, and if I’m going to get shitty drunk, still be a lady about it. OH, and WHAT EVEN is this ‘pre-loading’ these people are doing at home. Drinking a bottle of alcohol and THEN going out? (I of course blame the cost of alcohol for this! We used to go out for $50 and be able to shout rounds to people and still be happily drunk by the end of the night!)  If you’re going to drink at home, make a night of it!!! If you’re out to pick up, WHY do you need to be drunk?? You most likely won’t remember it!! Ugh, I think I’ve ranted, for far too long!! (I do that, too!) So … anyway.. my advice to the youth and drinkers of today…. drink, have fun, be merry, and keep your mitts to yourself. You’re giving booze (for the rest of us responsible people) a bad name, and making it cost FAR TOO MUCH! I’m not sure what I’ll do when August 1st comes around. I don’t even think I’ll notice it. I have 2 assessments due that time anyway, so booze will be the last thing on my mind!! We’ll just wait and see.

Right, now that I’m off that soapbox I’ll just briefly go into my hiatus from Facebook!

Two uni assessments due, lots of reading to do,  housework to be done, and what do I find myself doing? Glued to my Facebook feed. Clicking likes to win prizes I’ll NEVER win, playing awesome stupid addictive games, and being sucked in to a time vortex. Something had to be done, so I cut it. Cut it out. I have enjoyed Facebook for many benefits, but mostly for being able to share one image, one thought, a useless status update with many people. It has connected me with people from my past, and present, and has allowed me to stay in touch with friends who live far away. BUT… it’s a time waster. It really is. You think you can just check one thing, and the next thing you know it’s school pick up time, the tea is cold, and you’re rushing to get things done and be places on time. Since I’ deactivated my account I’ve managed to get a lot done. Uni is caught up, and I feel good. I do miss it, but not in a life is so much worse now I’m not on it way. The one thing I have realised is the amount of businesses, and bands, and people in general, who are using Facebook as their platform for promotion! I’m still on Twitter (and Instagram – I need SOMEWHERE to picspam my kids!), but Facebook is ‘The way’ to do business nowadays I guess? I even hear on the radio, ‘check us out on Facebook’ and I cringe and think UGH, why can’t they just have a good website that can be browsed and updated. What has the Zuckerburger done to us??? What’s next?? Who knows…. but yeah… a Facebook break has been good. I have a mobile phone, and anyone who’s important will know the number, so who needs an FB message to let me know if somethings happening, or someone’s pregnant!! I’ve disconnected, to reconnect!

So WOW… this post was epic and also about not much, basically, a common theme on this blog!! I hope you’re all well. I have almost survived School Holidays – which deserves it’s own blog post – maybe next time I have a spare five minutes!!

Take Care of Yourself.  Shine & Sparkle (and drink responsibly, and with class *in a glass)

To Be A Diamond Not A Basketcase

This post has been spurred on by feelings I’ve had developing for the past couple of weeks. You may have noticed I’ve been a little quiet on the blog front. My apologies for that, but I haven’t really made it a priority. The thing is, I made this video the other day to show the transformation I’ve had over the last 10 weeks and although I’m really happy with the video it also got me thinking about my mental state.

So far (without tomorrows weigh-in) I’ve lost 12.5kgs in the 10-11 weeks and over 40cms all round off my body. Now I know that is a HUGE number and that it’s a great achievement. I also know that I went and purchased a pair of jeans that were two sizes smaller than I would normally wear, which seemed an almost impossible concept a couple of months ago, however, I still feel fat and frumpy and my self-esteem is taking a hit.

It’s not that I want to give up on the program or the lifestyle, because that’s definitely not it. I love this new way of life (okay, saying I LOVE exercising, is a HUGE big fat lie – but I am enjoying what happens AFTER I exercise!!! The feeling you get of knowing it’s done and you’ve done something good for yourself!) and the way we’ve changed for the better. I guess it’s just me being the impatient Capricorn that I am, and wanting the best results now.

It’s funny….I’ve had people tell me they can see I’ve lost weight and that I’m looking good, but I know I can look better! When I look at myself in the mirror or just look down, I still see a big fat tummy (granted I know that I have my tummy because I have 3 beautiful kids I wouldn’t swap for the world) but I just want it gone!  I will admit that last night I went to the movies, and I happened to look side-ways in the mirror and noticed that it’s not ‘as big’ as a sticky-out-tummy as it used to be but ugh..it’s still there, sitting right in the middle of my short stature, making it’s self known.

Conceptions of how we look are a funny thing. I had a girl from high school recently tell me she didn’t think I was overweight during that time. Funny she said that; high school was a really big period of struggle for me, because everyone else seemed skinnier than me.  I also had a friend who’s known me for about 3 years now say that when she was watching the video she didn’t realise I looked ‘that big’ before we started this transformation. Again, it’s so funny how everyone sees everyone else.  I guess this is where the pressure of society comes in. I don’t feel pressure from society to be thin, and I most definitely don’t feel pressure from my loved ones or friends, but I do feel pressure from myself, to be smaller and to be fitter and to be a nicer person.

How do you stop putting pressure on yourself and get to a frame of mind where you’re happy with progress and know that what you are doing and have been doing is the right thing?

I want to be the diamond – not the basketcase

 

I feel like this program is making me a better version of me. My husband and I were discussing how with all the changes in eating and exercise that we’ve made, we definitely have a better mind-set. We’re both in a better place, but I just feel like I’m not quite there yet.

This isn’t a pity-post, so please don’t read it as that, it’s just a post on feelings. It’s just me, putting my feeling in a post, so that I can look back and reflect on my silly thought patterns in the months to come! It’s another ROBOT day where I didn’t want to get out of bed, didn’t want to exercise and didn’t want to even think about watching what I eat because I just couldn’t be bothered…. Having now been 11 weeks into this program, along with the help of Michelle’s mind-set lessons and support via other program members I now know .. CAN’T BE BOTHERED DOESN’T BURN FAT! You’ve got to get out there and JUST FREAKIN DO IT… so I did….and now it’s done for the day!

I’ll see you all tomorrow for Wednesdays Weigh In!! Only 2 more weigh ins on this ‘offiical’ round, but I’ll still be around to blog and update in between. Since I got my fabulous Polar HRM I’ve been trying to smash up the Super Saturday Sessions and have managed to hit 1000 this past weekend again. I also did a boxing group class, so I’m fairly sure that’s going to help move things along.

Mini Milestone Week 8 Smashed

My running bib and spot prize "visor" I won

Holy Grilled Cheesus what have I done?!?! That’s exactly what I thought Saturday morning after picking up our running bib and timing chip for the Brooks Spring into Shape Race 2, at Parramatta Park. You see, my husband and I talked ourselves into changing our distance from 4km to 8km!!!

It’s been seven years since I’ve ‘ran’ any distance of length and I guess I was up for the challenge??  Definitely up for the challenge! It was a beautiful Sydney morning and hubs and I had left the kids at the in-laws and headed into Parramatta. Due to changing the distance we had time up our sleeves, so we popped home and had a quick coffee! Nothing like that little extra oomph to help out! I was actually nervous. I knew in my heart that I could do this, but it was such a big step. I’d been on YouTube checking out running videos and technique to brush up and to prevent injury, and I was raring to go!

Watching everyone come over the line for the 4k race was great and I tried to clap for everyone, knowing that it’s such a huge effort to get out and do any type of distance. I spent the 20 minutes before the start reining in my excitement and nervous energy so that I could use it to my advantage!

Hubs and I at the START - why are we smiling?? We're crazy! We're just about to torture ourselves and we're smiling!

A quick group warm-up and we were ready. I would say there were about a hundred participants, and when the buzzer went off, we all pushed forward.  I had my iPod on and my ‘running track’ music pumping the whole way. The km markers seemed like they were a great distance apart (ha-ha, yeah yeah, I Know, they were 1k apart!!) but each time I saw them I pushed that little bit harder. Going around the first time and onto the second lap I knew I’d made the right choice to change to the 8k. I felt extremely determined. I wasn’t worried about my time, although I was trying to get less than 8 minutes because that is what I’d been doing on my regular flat runs.

The scenery was lovely (erm..I may be talking about the shirtless footy players that had finished training, sorry hunnnni!!) One of the great things about running is anyone can do it! There were so many people of different ages, different shapes and sizes!  With each step I took I knew that this was the right choice for my mini-milestone. As I was coming onto the 7k marker, my iPod switched to “This is the best thing that has ever happened to me” and I couldn’t help but break into a huge smile. This whole journey, the 12WBT journey, has truly been the best journey I’ve had in a very, very, very, very, long time, if not ever!   My husband had left me behind half way through, he’s taller and slightly faster and I didn’t want to hold him back! It was really great to run into the final few metres and have him with me, smiling and encouraging me!!!

The adrenaline shot through me as I crossed the finish line, knowing I had finished it! I had run the 8kms in approximately 1 hour 2 minutes! (There’s been a glitch in the system and my time hasn’t been recorded. I sent an email and they’re having the timing manager look into it).  I walked a few times, to catch my breath and recover, but I am really happy with my efforts!

We did IT!!! Now we can smile and have a valid reason!!! Mini-milestone SMASHED!

I just want everyone to know that being in the right frame of mind and challenging yourself will reap the most awesome benefits!!! I feel great and can’t wait until we do our next event!  I’m also going to do a running clinic at the end of the month, to get to the right ‘tools’ to succeed. I’m definitely looking forward to that!

Weigh-In Wednesday Week 8 – Whoops

Did you know that in order to lose weight you actually have to eat? Yep! Completely and totally true! Guess who hasn’t been eating the right amount of calories? If you guessed me, you’d be right. *Insert Big Sigh* ….A busy week of party preparations for Miss 1 and a lack of being organised has led to me not being prepared with food and therefore, reverting to my old ways of ‘not eating enough’.  What does this mean? It means the numbers moved a little in the wrong direction this week. Let’s get those “Numbers” out of the way, so we can move on and re-focus.

 

 

Darn it! I did not want to see that red, but it’s giving me focus and motivation to make sure it doesn’t appear again. Now, where did I go wrong?  Obviously, I was unprepared and did not plan out my weekly food choices or snacks. Life with 3 small children means that there is always a lot to do and I’ve found this week that when I look at the clock, ‘it’s too late’. *Hitting self in head and yelling to pull it together* The whole point of this is program is that Michelle gives you the tools, she gives you the menu, the food list, the exercise plan. All you need to do is organise yourself with it, and execute. Must-do-this-from-now-on.

I know that over the past couple of weeks, I’ve slipped slightly on my food choices and have allowed myself some alcohol and a couple of cupcakes. Big mistake.. BIG – HUGE – MASSIVE! It has done me no favours and I now know that it’s all my fault the numbers didn’t move the way I wanted them. Scrapping the ‘treats’ and going back to the way I was in the first 6 weeks. Clean and focused.

So now we’ve gotten the negative nelliness out of the way, let’s move on…..

 

How about some good news??? It’s measurement time!

I haven’t updated you on the measurements in 8 weeks, so this should look good, right??

I hope so!

 

I’m fairly sure I’ve moved down to a comfortable size 16, all my size 18 clothes are hanging off me, but as is with everything, I don’t want to go out and buy new clothes, until I’m at my goal size! Only have 2 sizes to go.. or even more!

I attended my first group training on the weekend. It’s named Pain in the Park and is run at a local park. It was really great to get out in the sunshine and to meet fellow program members. I’ve been training alone, and it can get quite lonely. It was great to have someone telling me in person, how to do things, and also to have fellow people encouraging and working along side you. I never thought I’d smile or laugh so much while training. What’s up with that?!!!!! It’s rightly named Pain in the Park, as for 2 days after I was in so much pain!!!! I guess that means it works!! It’s a great feeling to ache for all the right reasons, not because you’re sick!

Big news for the week is that this weekend, hubs and I are entering :

It’s a little bit exciting! We’ve arranged the babysitters and are polishing the shoes! It’s only 4kms to start with, want to start slow, but it’s our first step (badaboom). If you’re reading this and are in the area, or are competing in it as well, look out for us! I’ll be in my 12wbt Purple tank top huffing and puffing and dying slowly!

Well that’s it for me this weigh in day. I need to go and eat some breakfast and work on a workout!!! I have a few more things I want to talk about, but I’ll try to do that during the week. I realised I can blog from my phone, but I don’t think it’ll be all pretty and stuff.. oh well, when the words come, they come!

I have printed out my previous Motivation poster I posted, and now have it on my bathroom mirror….. It’s quite inspiring to look and read it and burn it in my brain that I CAN DO THIS!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekend Quote

 

Who am I? What have I done with myself? Where’s the old me? To be honest, I’m starting to figure out who I am, I’m starting to realise I’ve put that other person away, for life, and the old me has turned into the new me. I’m not talking about a miraculous body transformation-that takes time, but I am talking about the person who got out of bed on a Saturday morning and by 8.30am had already completed Jillian Michaels Ripped Week 2 and a 20 minute Zumba session! All before the girls were awake! I feel revitalised!

Although the last two days have been quite emotional and I’ve felt really low I know that I have needed to push through these feelings and know that it’s a change, it’s a life-style and it will make me better. It already has.

I’m not that person who wants to stay in bed all day. I’m not that person who would rather eat pizza than cook something quickly (or find a healthy fast alternative) and I’m not this person who say’s Fuck It, I Give Up.  Be the best person you can be and don’t give up…ever.

P.S – if you know who said this quote I’d love to know. It feels very Jillian to me, but I’ve googled and can’t seem to come up with an answer

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overcoming Week 2 Hurdles

Not gonna lie – I’m a little disappointed!!! In the same breathe, I”m a little excited!!! How can this be, you ask?

Well…. today Mum came with us to watch the kids have their swimming lessons (Hi Mum, have I told you lately how proud I am of your achievements, and YES I can notice and difference already! Woot Woot!) and when we came home I insisted she look over my Heart Rate Monitor instructions to see if she could get it to work. I mean, what else are Mum’s for, but for fixing problems, plus I knew she could do it *winks at Mum!*

She indeed DID get my Heart Rate Monitor working and Wahoooooo we started to celebrate with the fact that I could finally get a calories burned reading and proper Heart Beats per Minute! I was eager to get this show on the road and finally get those calorie numbers up. Up until today, I’ve been using a ‘calorie estimator’ to determine how much I’ve done. Well…didn’t I get a rude shock when I started working out and the numbers very very slowly started moving. After 20 minutes of Zumba we were still in the double digits. *scoffs* Not good enough!! I then put on a Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 DVD and went hard for another 20 minutes; just getting into the triple digits now. *scoffs – are you freakin kidding me* I was under the assumption that I should be aiming for 400-500 calories burning a day. Oh my goodness. I put on an Intensity Cardio DVD and started huffing, puffing, jumping and moving and after 30 minutes the HRM finally clocked over 200. That was it, I was exhausted! I’d done 70 minutes, but had only burned 215 calories *insert sad face* I mean – What the FIRETRUCK is that all about?!? The calorie estimator tells me I should have burned almost 600 calories.

What do I do? I’ve been really kinda bummed out about it, but after a hot shower and some reflection I’ve decided I need to pull myself out of the funk I’ve been in for the past couple of days and be really proud of myself for getting up off the couch and actually Moving. I haven’t moved this much in over 10 years, and for that I need to stop beating myself up and be happy. I guess through this whole journey it’s going to take small steps to make a big reality, but as I’ve said before…I’m a now kinda gal, and this challenge is definitely making me pull myself into line!

I’m sticking to the food plan, and even if I’m not a fan of the meals, I”m making sure I keep under the 1200 calorie a day range. I feel better. I think I’m sleeping a little better (I think I’d sleep fantastic, if I didn’t have kids coming in at all hours of the night) and although I’m wishing for major changes, I’m being realistic and saying that I think I can feel and see some small changes in my body.

Another MAJOR challenge I have to overcome is Scales..Yup, you read right… Scales. I’m having an emotional relationship with our set of scales right now, and I need to break up with them. You see the problem is, I want to step on them…all-the-time. I want to know what I’m doing is working and I want to see that in numbers. Now, I know this is WRONG and that’s why I’m working hard on the break up. They are a pretty red colour, but I know I must not be tempted. I must work to stay off them until Wednesday Weigh-Ins. I find that if I jump on them and it moves in a direction I’m not particularly fond of, it can set off my mood for the rest of the day/night. I’m writing this out, so that I can be accountable to NOT step on the scales but once a week!!!!!

Cue Pic of Scales with a big red X through them – Gen – DO NOT STEP on the scales unless it’s Weigh-In Wednesday!!

That’s it for now, I’m off the weekend to hopefully “Smash it” and get some cals burned! My usual Friday night Wine is put on hold for a few months, and although I miss it, I’ll replace it with tea and dream of how stealthy I’ll look holding a glass of vino with my new slim fingers!!! (you may laugh at that visual..I did!) And I’ll work on the triple P theory:

Until next time…..

Oh Oh Oh and Let me take this opportunity to say a Great Big WAY TO GO to my husband who’s taken this whole lifestyle change on with a complete amount of Positive and is seeing the effects of it himself! I’m also already seeing a difference, as are the scales! Way to go Babe! x